- Somers Central School District
SIS Students Earn Worldwide Recognition for Math Skills
When it comes to math, yes, Noah Samuel likes to learn, but he also likes to compete. His eyes lit up when asked about the 2022-23 Mathematical Olympiads competition.
The fifth grader’s skills and his competitive instincts were challenged throughout the school year when Samuel and almost two dozen fellow students at SIS proved they were ready.
The school’s Math Olympiad Team learned this month that it ranked in the Top 10% worldwide in the competition, a pool consisting of 3,918 teams and approximately 100,000 students. Teams hailed from all 50 states, as well as 30 countries.
“You have to use different strategies to learn how to solve problems,” said Samuel, who finished in first place among all SIS students. “There are different ways to solve problems more carefully and sometimes the simple choice is the right one.”
Samuel would know. He was awarded a gold pin because his score ranked in the top 2% of all participants. Classmate Jonathan Lantz, who placed second at SIS, also received a gold pin for ranking among the top 2%.
Nicholas Sullivan, Robert Vance, Tessa Sullivan, Mitchell Riley, Rocco Zurica and Dean Klatsky were all awarded silver pins for placing in the top 10% of the competition.
“It was great to see that we had so many high-scoring people,” a proud Samuel said.
The competition requires students to solve a handful of problems each month and gives them just 30 minutes to do so. Their teacher, Mrs. Sharon King, then submits the results to MOEMS (Mathematical Olympiads for Elementary and Middle Schools), which records the data and compares students and teams to others around the world.
During the months-long competition, Samuel answered 24 of the 25 questions correctly. He said it was a vast improvement over last year.
There were 23 SIS students in grades three through five who served as members of this year’s Math Olympiad Team. They worked on different strategies and perfected their math vocabulary to better solve problems.
“As an educator, my foremost goal is to create an environment that fosters creativity, analytical thinking, collaboration and a growth mindset,” King said.
The collaboration is an important aspect of the team’s approach. During their practice, students are presented with a problem, attempt to solve it, then meet in groups to compare and contrast their strategies.
It pushes them out of their comfort zone and forces them to think about math creatively.
“It’s about more than just learning math,” King said. “They are learning lifelong skills.”
Other members of the SIS Math Olympiad team are: Olivia Ball, Anchit Shankar, Logan Kelly, Nicholas Pogosov, Ethan Lee, Charlotte Frankie, Leandra Ibrahimi, Andrew Totto, Eli Mundis, Roman Casimir, Andrew Pucci, Victoria Vincentz, Kaylee Jeon, Evan Mallamud and Ralph Riley.
June 12, 2023